Experience breathtaking scenery and ancient cultures on this action-packed adventure through rural Yangshuo. Hike the Longji Rice Terraces, kayak down the Yulong River and climb karst rock formations, whilst visiting key attractions, including Moon Hill.  Get a taste of local cuisine with an authentic cooking class and visiting the centuries-old villages perched in the mountains.

Highlights

1

Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • 1

    Arrive in Guilin and meet with your guide before making your way to Huangluo Yao Village. Take a stroll around this sleepy village while immersing yourself in the colourful traditions of the Red Yao ethnic minority group. Continue on winding roads to the 600-year old village of Ping’an, inhabited by China’s largest ethnic minority group, the Zhuang people. In the afternoon, climb to the highest point in the village and enjoy exquisite panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Overnight at your hotel in Ping’an village of Longsheng.

  • 2

    In the morning, embark on a half-day trekking adventure through the coiling rice fields of the Longji Rice Terraces. Climb the famous “Dragon’s Backbone” summit and savour views of China’s most spectacular farming landscapes forged by locals more than 700 years ago.

    Lunch at Longsheng local restaurant. Later, bask in the aroma of rice, vegetable and tea plantations as you scale the succession of lush staircases, cascading their way through the mountains. In the afternoon, visit the remote settlements of Zhongliu and Tiantouzhai, perched on top of a mountain. Take in some of the best panoramas of the surrounding region before heading to Yangshuo, around 160km (3 hours) away. Spend the night in Yangshuo.

    *Note: The Longji Rice Terraces are saturated with water during May and throughout summer. Until the harvest month of October, the hills are a vibrant green colour before fading into a lighter wheat colour from the start of Autumn. We highly recom-mended not visiting between December and March, when snow and fog is expected.

  • 3

    In the morning, meet your guide and transferred to Yangdi before starting an exhilarating 16km hike downstream to the city of Xingping. Trek your way through the spectacular karst landscape as your criss-cross your way down the Li River with periodic ferry transfers.

    For lunch, indulge your inner foodie as you get a taste of traditional, home-cooked cuisine prepared in a local household in Xingping.

    In the afternoon, venture through the ancient village of Xingping founded more than 1000 years ago and pictured on China’s 20-Yuan note. Later, explore the bustling local market, stocking everything from local crafts to live cockerels. Then, discover the secret houses left behind from the Ming and Qing dynasties while taking in the famous “sugar loaf mountains” surrounding the city.

    Transfer back to Yangshuo in the late afternoon. In the evening, witness a spectacular display of lights and theatre as hundreds of local farmers, fishermen and dancers perform the famous “Impression Lieu Sanjie” show against the stunningly lit backdrop of the Li River and karst mountains. Overnight at your hotel in Yangshuo.

  • 4

    Depart in the morning and make your way to the starting point of a full day cycling adventure from Yangshuo. Get to know your professional cycling guide before embarking on one of two scenic routes through rural China.

    Lunch at local restaurant.

    Option 1: Start your adventure at 9:00am and head towards the village of Baisha, located 10km away and set along the tranquil waters of the Yulong River (Jade Dragon River). Snap some photos at the picturesque, 400-year old Yulong Bridge, before skirt-ing the riverbanks lined with mandarin, orange and chestnut trees.  Later, follow quiet back roads through the South-eastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and take in its spectacular karst landscapes, nicknamed “sugar loafs” by the locals. In the afternoon, head back to Yangshuo or, if the mood strikes, continue further south towards spectacular Moon Hill (entrance ticket not included). Finish the day climbing the ethereal moon-shaped arch forged into the countryside and take in otherworldly views of the surrounding countryside before heading back to your hotel.

    Option 2: Start your day at 9:00am and pedal towards Mushan, 3km west of Yangshuo. Explore the streets of the 500-year old village renowned for its depiction of the “8 Trigrams of Taoism” and the art of feng shui. Later, ride alongside the shores of the magnificent Li River to the 800-year old fishing village of Liugong,  around 20km from Yangshuo. Set against the jaw-dropping backdrop of the surrounding mountains, this 800-year old village boasts some of China’s most unique preserved architecture da-ting back to the Qing and Ming dynasties. Wander through the Home of Senators before venturing over to the famous three-colour ponds to hear local legends behind their mysterious col-ourations. In the afternoon, return to Yangshuo via Yongcun or opt for a ride to Moon Hill (entrance ticket not included). Transfer back to your hotel.

  • 5

    In the morning, make your way to the cooking school for half a day of hands-on culinary training in the Yangshuo countryside. Sample the best of local flavours as you wander through a nearby market and handpick fresh ingredients alongside an expert local chef. Then, try your hand at cooking dishes from scratch before enjoying a five-course banquet of local favourites prepared by yours truly.

    Choose between two sumptuous banquet options for your group cooking class (maximum of 16 people):

    Option 1:

    • Beer fish (famous local specialty)

    • Chicken with cashew nuts

    • Steamed, stuffed vegetables

    • Eggplant with soy and oyster sauce

    • Green vegetables with garlic

    Option 2 :

    • Egg wrapped dumplings

    • Steamed chicken with mushroom

    • Duck with pickled ginger and chilies

    • Stir-fried pork with vegetables and oyster sauce

    • Green vegetables with garlic

    Please study hard at the cooking class, as your lunch will be your work.

    Transfer back to the hotel in the afternoon for free time.

    Notes:

    • Cooking lessons are four hours long and taught in groups (including customers from other companies). Additional cost applies for private classes.

    • Cooking classes are taught in English. For other languages, an additional cost will apply to provide a translator.

    • Afternoon classes, starting at 3:30pm, are available from March to November

    • Contact us to arrange longer cooking courses.

    • The option for a relaxing afternoon mud bath in Black Buddha cave, located near Moon Hill, is also available at an additional charge.

  • 6

    In the morning, head to the climbing school to grab your equipment before beginning an exciting day of outdoor activities, including climbing and river kayaking.

    For climbing, choose between varying levels of difficulty:

    Swiss Cheese Wall (Beginner): This easy to reach wall is accessible to both beginners and experienced climbers, making it one of the most popular climbs in the area. It is ideal for families or group climbs, comprised of two sections: a wall for beginners and an adjoining section for those wanting a challenge. A serene bamboo grove also provides a welcome source of shade in the harsher summer months.

    The Egg (Advanced): With four adjoining rock faces, the egg pro-vides a series of challenging surfaces for advanced or experienced climbers. As the sun moves, climbers can shift to a different side to shield themselves from the summer heat.

    White Mountain (Experienced): A superb climbing surface that will satisfy even the most experienced climbers, with a difficulty level ranging from 5.10 to 5.13 (Yosemite Decimal System). While some incline paths allow for climbs even during rain, exposure to the sun is constant throughout the day, meaning dusk or morning climbs are recommended. Thrill-seekers may find the wall’s 200m section of 15% incline appealing, rising up to 60m above the ground.

    Additional information:

    – Safety is our number one priority, so it is important we know your level of experience before starting our three-hour climbing session.

    – Your level of ability will determine which site your instructor will choose for you.

    – All of our instructors are professionals.

    – All necessary safety equipment will be provided: helmets, climbing shoes, harnesses, chalk, etc.

    – All of our instructors can speak English. An additional cost applies for other languages.

    – Those wanting to extend their climbing experience, it is possible to arrange half, full or multi-day courses.

    Return to the bicycle depot in Yangshuo for lunch (sandwiches, fruit and bottled water provided) before making your way to Fuli for a guided kayak along the scenic Yulong River. Take in the breath-taking views of the surrounding mountainside and river-front villages before joining the current of the famous Li River. Drift into Liugong in the afternoon before returning to your hotel. In the evening, take a stroll around Liugong’s rustic town centre and ancient buildings.

  • 7

    In the morning, transfers to Guilin for your next destination.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Booking Policy

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip…)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in ‘inclusive’

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My group of six completed a 30 day cycling tour in Asia with AAT. We traveled form Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Saigon to Siem Reap. Every day we pedaled through stunning countryside views, passing villages, fields & limestone karsts. Our guide Tony was fantastic-interesting, friendly & personable. This experience stood out as the highlight of our Asia trip.

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